I recently had a conversation with a friend where he shared how he was struggling to choose a career in life because he worried that he might fail. Instead of applying for jobs he remained within his comfort zone. The more we talked, the more it became clear he was believing a lie and doing himself a great disservice. But, I think it's a lie many of us believe. Somewhere inside us is this assumption that when the time comes to do so, we'll take a big risk and it will just come naturally.
In reality, there's never a great time to take a risk. The dictionary defines risk as, "to expose to the chance of injury or loss." I don't know about you, but I never seem to want that type of exposure. In my ideal world the greatest risk I'd take would be choosing a movie on Netflix at random and hoping it turns out okay.
But I recognize that some of the greatest moments, months, years of my life have come from taking risks. Recently I took a big risk — I stepped away from a job and community I loved and moved to a country I'd never been to in order to pursue a dream of mine. So far it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made, but it didn't come easily and it didn't happen overnight.
I was able to take this big risk because of all the others I had taken before — stepping out of my comfort zone, letting myself fail, trusting God's timing more than my own. Risk is something we have to practice. It's a muscle we have to exercise. The more risks we take, big or small, the easier it will be to take the next one. This is because risk forces us to do something we can't do by remaining stagnant — it forces us to move past our fear of failure. It confronts us with the reality that things might not go as planned and that we might lose big. But it also reminds us that there's something more important, and that something is worth the uncertainty.
So as my 2016 resolution (better late than never hey?) I've decided to be intentional about my training. I'm flexing my muscles and I'm taking risks, because further down the road I want to be ready to risk bigger if it means living the life I'm called to live.